BRIDGES: Heroic Designs that Changed the World

BRIDGES: Heroic Designs that Changed the World

DAN CRUICKSHANK    Book Number: 93445    Product format: Hardback

The best bridges are both functional and beautiful, with the Golden Gate Bridge of San Francisco one of the most celebrated, closely followed by the Roman Pont du Gard in France, Brunel's Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, and the Humber crossing so much admired by Philip Larkin and pictured here against a spectacular sunset. Functionality can itself be beautiful, and Brunel's Royal Albert Bridge, Saltash, completed in 1859, is "a masterpiece in pure, raw, and beautiful function", with the top arch of the truss restrained by the lower inverted arch and exerting no outward thrust. The scale and audacity of bridges can create a sense of identity and place. The Zhaozhou Bridge in China by Li Chun dates from the 7th century AD and is the world's oldest open-spandrel arched bridge in stone, with the Taotie motif on the keystones giving it a heroic, almost mystical significance. The Charles Bridge in Prague, built in the 15th century with 16 arches, connected Europe to the east, a bridge between two worlds both literally and metaphorically, and built on a palindromic and astronomical principle that also involve the Kabbalah and Jewish golem. The author covers different materials and methods of construction, from the timber spans of the 17th century Japanese Kintaikwo Bridge to the cantilevered steel of the Forth Bridge in the 1880s. Other bridges discussed and illustrated with impressive photography include the 12th century bridge at Avignon, which stood at the centre of one of Christianity's bloodiest crusades as the Cathars were declared blasphemous revolutionaries. The bridge of Khaju in Isfahan dates from 1650 as part of Shah Abbas's vision of a paradise on earth, with the stunning Mosque of the Imam in the background. The vaults below are shady refuges in warm-coloured stone. Railway bridges include Gateshead's Millennium Bridge, Newcastle's High Level Bridge and the Hell Gate Bridge in New York. A superb book, combining technological detail with impressive aesthetics. 384pp, 7 x10", colour photos.
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Published price: £25
Bibliophile price: £12.00

Additional product information

ISBN 9780007881086
Browse these categories as well: Transport, Art & Architecture

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